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International Journal of Project Management xx (2015) xxx xxx

The impact of project management (PM) and benets

management (BM) practices on project success: Towards
developing a project benets governance framework
Amgad Badewi
School of Aerospace, Transport and Manufacturing (SATM), Cranfield University, UK
Received 8 December 2014; received in revised form 4 May 2015; accepted 18 May 2015


Benets management (BM) and project management (PM) are two interrelated approaches to the success of projects. The literature, however, still
lacks empirical evidence of the value of applying BM practices. Hence, it is aimed to test the impact of BM practices on the success of investments in
projects, taking into consideration the impact of PM practices on that success. Since the results, based on 200 valid responses, suggest that a signicant
proportion of organisations adopt PM and BM concurrently, SEM was used. PM practices were not only found to inuence project management
success but also to affect project investment success. However, BM is found to be less signicant and to have less impact on project investment success.
Nevertheless, the probability of project success is enhanced signicantly when PM and BM practices are combined together. Therefore, a governance
based framework is developed to uncover the interweaving relationship between the two practices.
2015 Elsevier Ltd. APM and IPMA. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Project benets governance framework; Benets management; Project management; Project success; Structure Equation Modelling; Project governance;
Change management

1. Introduction addition, factors such as age and experience make project

managers focus on this iron triangle (Mller and Turner, 2007),
Delivering project outputs on time and on cost was the main but the complexity and uncertainty of project outputs lead to cost
concern for project managers in 1960 up to the 1980s (Ika, 2009). and time overruns (Williams, 2005) and this can lead project
Although the research focus has changed to other concerns, such managers to focus on this triangle.
as customer satisfaction and achieving a project's strategic However, the over focus on delivering the project iron triangle
objectives, a significant number of project managers still focus on performance measures (cost, time and scope) creates an
the iron triangle (cost, time and scope) of performance metrics. In output-focused mentality (Chih and Zwikael, 2015). This
mentality creates problems at the organisational and the
individual level. Maylor et al (2006) show that this mind-set at
At the time of submitting this paper, Mr. Badewi is a PhD student at Cranfield
University in his writing-up phase. The researcher is registered as a practitioner
the organisational level, which they call projectification, leads
(MSP) in implementing transformation programmes (such as Enterprise systems, to many problems that limit the effectiveness of the organisation
six sigma, and TQM). Additionally, he is Project Management Professional (PMP) to realise benefits from its projects, such as the distribution
and IT Service Management (ITIL) certified. Furthermore, he is an active member between project managers and functional managers in the
of Chartered Institute of Management Accounting (CIMA) and British Academy organisation of power, authority and responsibilities. On the
of Management (BAM). His experience as a project management/benefits
management consultant has covered many European and Middle East countries
individual level, inexperienced project managers tend to focus
such as the UK, Switzerland, Austria, Egypt, Emirates, and Saudi Arabia. more on iron triangle performance measures than on customer
E-mail address: satisfaction measures (Mller and Turner, 2007).
0263-7863/00/ 2015 Elsevier Ltd. APM and IPMA. All rights reserved.

Please cite this article as: A. Badewi, 2015. The impact of project management (PM) and benets management (BM) practices on project success: Towards developing
a project benets governance framework, Int. J. Proj. Manag.
2 A. Badewi / International Journal of Project Management xx (2015) xxxxxx

The literature reveals that this output-focused PM mind-set which in turn affect the project's success. The present research is
could confuse the orientation of a project manager and hence designed to test whether the successful implementation of
could leave the project customers/sponsors unsatisfied (Shenhar projects leads to project investment success. Furthermore, it
and Dvir, 2007). Indeed, complying with the iron triangle alone is addresses whether, as a single framework without PM practices'
argued to be insufficient for judging a project successful (Samset, being implemented, BM alone can deliver success.
2009). For this reason, a new project benefits management PM and BM frameworks aim to deliver organisational value
mentality is spotlighted by academics and practitioners to handle from investments in initiatives. However, they each have
the issue of what factors are required to realise the benefits from different aims, methodologies and techniques. Thus, combining
the projects and how this should be done (Bennington and them into a single governance framework, called project benefits
Baccarini, 2004; Breese, 2012; Chih and Zwikael, 2015). governance, is proposed to enhance the probability of project
Benefits management (BM), sometimes called Benefits success.
Realisation Management, is a framework which was formerly To bridge the knowledge gap, this paper tests the relationship
used with the aim of increasing the success of Information between success in different areas (i.e. project investment success
Technology (IT) projects (Ashurst and Doherty, 2003; Breese, and project management success) to find whether successful
2012; Melton et al., 2008a,b; Serra and Kunc, 2015). However, it project management leads to project investment success. It goes
has spread now to other industries (Chih and Zwikael, 2015; on to propose that project management practices (Project
Mossalam and Arafa, in Press). Despite an early call to implement Management Institute, 2013a,b) alone and benefits management
BM (Thorp, 1998; Ward et al., 1996), little empirical evidence has practices alone (Ward and Daniel, 2006) affect the success of
been brought to show how much light benefits management sheds project management. Finally it proposes that, when PM and BM
on the prevalent ways in which projects become successful. Most come together, the probability of success is enhanced.
of the research conducted on benefits management either explores
it at the level of implementation (Bennington and Baccarini, 2004; 2. Literature review
Coombs, 2015; Lin and Pervan, 2003) or implements and
develops the benefits management approach in case studies 2.1. Project success and project benefits
(Baccarini and Bateup, 2008; Doherty et al., 2011; Fukami and
Mccubbrey, 2011; Pina et al., 2013). Nevertheless, a few papers The main purpose of using a project management framework
have used generalizable evidence to test the success or level of is to increase organisational value (Dalcher, 2012). The
effectiveness of benefits management (Badewi, 2015; Serra and organisation can benefit from using project management
Kunc, 2015). framework by increasing the effectiveness of human effort in
Paradoxically, from one perspective, these papers have found the organisation while increasing the efficiency of these efforts.
a mixed weak relationship between the implementation of Therefore, project success is measured by its efficiency in the
benefits management practices and project success (Badewi, short term and its effectiveness in achieving the expected results
2014; Serra and Kunc, 2015). Indeed, current benefits manage- in the medium and the long term (Jugdev et al., 2001; Mller and
ment practices are not in themselves a panacea (Breese, 2012) Jugdev, 2012). Therefore, the value of the project can be
and sometimes they hardly even matter (Haddara and Paivarinta, understood in so far as it satisfies customer needs, aligns the
2011). From another perspective, project management practices project output with the organisation's strategy and gives a return
alone are perceived to have only a moderately significant on investment (Thomas and Mullaly, 2008).
relationship with project success (Besner and Hobbs, 2013). Nevertheless, from the traditional PM point of view, scope
Moreover, in terms of customer satisfaction project manage- creep in projects or over-budgeting and over -scheduling are not
ment maturity is found to have an impact on project management acceptable (Atkinson, 1999). Therefore, achieving the targets of a
success but not on project investment success (Berssaneti and project is called project management success (Zwikael and Smyrk,
Carvalho, 2015). Additionally, project management performance 2012) or internal project performance (Golini et al., 2015).
is significantly correlated with success in both project investment However, the ability of the project's output to deliver the expected
and project management (Mir and Pinnington, 2014). However, return on investment is the key to declaring the project success
when project management practices are used in transformational from the business perspective (Camilleri, 2011; Artto and
change, such as the deployment of a new IT system to change Wikstrm, 2005). Therefore, project investment success is used
work practices, the results may be frustrating (Ram et al., 2013). to describe the ability to generate the project's return on investment
Therefore, it is advised that change management practices should (Zwikael and Smyrk, 2012).
be integrated with project management practices (Hornstein, Project investment success is indeed more challenging than
2015). This could be done by synchronising the soft and hard project management success. Project investment success needs a
approaches to managing the project and its stakeholders (Shi, system thinking mind-set to understand and to manage the internal
2011). and the external environment (Fortune and White, 2006). For
In order to understand how project management may have an instance, Cserhti and Szab (2014) have found that relational-
impact on project investment success, Thomas and Mullaly oriented success factors such as communication, co-operation and
(2008) address the point using a general framework to identify leadership are more critical than are task-oriented success factors.
the contextual factors that affect the capacity to implement PM In supporting this evidence, Mller and Turner (2007) find that
(such as the quality of the people and technology used in PM) more experienced project managers are more interested in

Please cite this article as: A. Badewi, 2015. The impact of project management (PM) and benets management (BM) practices on project success: Towards developing
a project benets governance framework, Int. J. Proj. Manag.
A. Badewi / International Journal of Project Management xx (2015) xxxxxx 3

developing teamwork and more oriented to investment success. business case (Ward et al., 2008), vision to value vector (Tiernan
Likewise, in urban regeneration projects which entail changes in and Peppard, 2004) or the Cost, Benefit, Financial Risk Model
citizens' behaviour and attitude, stakeholders' management is a (CoBeFR) model (Badewi and Shehab, 2013).
critical factor for project success (Yu and Kwon, 2011). To sum up, classifying project success as the success of
Consequently, Golini et al (2015) has found that the PM tools management and investment (Zwikael and Smyrk, 2012) is
(e.g. critical path method and Gantt chart) used to achieve project extended to reflect these conceptual principles in the form of
management success are different from those needed for project project efficiency, organisational benefits, impact, stakeholder
investment success because they are more closely related to satisfaction and future potential (Joslin and Mller, 2015).
stakeholder management such as the stakeholder matrix and Another framework used is to classify project success under
responsibility assignment matrix. process success (project management success), product success
A benefit is described as an advantage on behalf of a (satisfaction with the project output) and organisational success
particular stakeholder or stakeholder group (Ward and Daniel, (organisational satisfaction with the outcome) (McLeod et al.,
2006). However, this definition is extended on the basis of 2012). In this framework, project success is the output of three
different considerations. First, no benefits can be realised interacting sub-success criteria: successful project management
without a change in the current state (Hornstein, 2015; Serra in delivering the project output, successful communication and
and Kunc, 2015). Second, for each aspect of project success understanding of stakeholders' needs; and successful realisa-
(management and investment), measures should be established tion by the organisation of the project's benefits. Without the
to define the success criteria (Mller and Turner, 2007). Third, ability to organise, through a proper project governance, to
benefits should be owned and assigned to a certain person or absorb and to use the project outputs, the benefits will not be
department, made responsible for realising them (Winch and realised effectively (Maylor et al., 2006).
Leiringer, 2015; Chih and Zwikael, 2015); indeed, without an
owner, the benefit will never accrue because nobody will be 2.2. Benefits management
interested in using the project output to capturing the benefits
(Peppard, 2007). Thus, this research extends Ward and Daniel's Ward and Daniel (2006) define benefits management as The
definition of project benefits as a measurable advantage process of organizing and managing such that the potential
owned by a group of stakeholders incurred by changing the benefits arising from the use of IS/IT are actually realised. On
current state through project management mechanisms. the basis of the definition of project benefits defined earlier and
Project benefits, which can be reflected by Key Performance Ward & Daniel's definition, the present research defines project
Indicators (KPI) (Kaplan and Norton, 1996), can be financial or benefits management as the initiating, planning, organising,
non-financial. Project benefits and project investment success executing, controlling, transitioning and supporting of change in
are slightly different: project investment success is more the organisation and its consequences as incurred by project
inclusive and includes the cost of the project as well as the management mechanisms to realise predefined project benefits.
financial benefits from it. In other words, stakeholders will not The discipline of benefits management has progressed from a
be satisfied until the expected benefits, both financial and call for active management to realise expected benefits through the
non-financial, are realised. Active Benefits Management (ABM) framework (Leyton, 1995) to
Benefits can be tangible and intangible (capable or incapable the point where it is a government standard in some countries, such
of being measured) (Irani and Love, 2002; Irani, 1998). While as the UK (OGC, 2011). A Cranfield process model was developed
financial benefits can be measured and estimated before the by Ward et al. (1996). By 2001, Lin and Pervan (2003) had found
starting of a project, non-financial benefits may either be that a significant proportion of the biggest organisations in
measurable (e.g. the defect rate) or non-measurable (the Australia were adopting the Cranfield process model either
organisation's market reputation). formally or informally. The Cranfield process model argues that
However, non-financial benefits cannot easily be considered benefits management is a continuous process and it should not be
in a project's investment success without articulating, quantifying imposed via single projects. This process model is followed by an
and measuring how they can affect the financial benefits (Lin and Active Benefit Realisation (ABR) approach which is developed to
Pervan, 2003). Furthermore, quantifying the benefits is necessary underline the importance of having a continuous process of
for managing, monitoring and controlling their realisation (Lebas, managing benefits (Remenyi and Sherwood-Smith, 1998). Never-
1995; Otley, 1999); in other words, what cannot be measured theless, Remenyi & Sherwood-Smith believe that the project is the
cannot be managed. A project's financial benefits, and therefore mechanism to deliver output; but that benefits realisation is a
its investment success, cannot be realised without achieving these continuous process to reflect the fact that benefits from investments
interim non-financial benefits (Peppard et al., 2007). Therefore, can be realised more and more from current investments, instead of
while balanced scorecards (Kaplan and Norton, 1993; Fang and developing new projects. This view is aligned with the perspective
Lin, 2006; Milis and Mercken, 2004) and Benefit Dependency of the Cranfield process model on realising benefits.
Networks (BDN) (Peppard et al., 2007) are used for the sake of The research has changed direction to focus on organisational
articulating these non-financial benefits in order to convert them capabilities (such as the capacity to learn and develop (Ashurst
into financial benefits which can be measured for the evaluating and Doherty, 2003)) and the programme management capabil-
and selecting of projects, other tools are used to value the projects ities (Reiss, 2006) required to deliver project benefits. From the
in terms of delivering investment success and costs, such as project management research perspective, benefits management

Please cite this article as: A. Badewi, 2015. The impact of project management (PM) and benets management (BM) practices on project success: Towards developing
a project benets governance framework, Int. J. Proj. Manag.
4 A. Badewi / International Journal of Project Management xx (2015) xxxxxx

is more oriented to programme management (see for example the two streams: governance as a phenomenon external to a project
Multi-Objective Realisation Method (MORE) framework of (the relationship between a project and the organisation in general
Barclay and OseiBryson (2009)). This school of thought was and the higher governance theme, e.g. programmes or portfolios,
extended through many subsequent papers (Maylor et al., 2006; in particular); and project governance as internal to a specific
Shao et al., 2012; Badewi, 2015). project.
Most of this literature categorizes benefits management on the This research uses the concept of the governance of projects,
basis of the Cranfield process model (Ward et al., 1996), which because the aim is not to manage the project per se in order to
puts practices under the headings of the identification, planning, deliver the expected performance; rather, the aim is to manage
executing and reviewing of some benefits (Bennington and different projects and activities towards the production of the
Baccarini, 2004) and the exploitation of others (Ashurst et al., pre-defined benefits (Williams et al., 2010). Thus, the governance
2008). Since coherent governance is one of the factors in play of projects can be defined as a process oriented system by which
when deriving benefits from investment in projects (Doherty et projects are strategically directed, integratively managed and
al., 2011), the responsibility for managing change and/or holistically controlled, in an entrepreneurial and ethically reflected
recouping the benefits should be addressed, because the project way (Renz, 2007). Renz's definition suggests that the success of
manager has only a certain scope for delivering the output (OGC, a project is based on collaboration between implementing a
2011; Zwikael and Smyrk, 2011; Too and Weaver, 2014). As reliable project output with an acceptable level of service level
with the InputTransformationOutput model, the responsibility agreement after its delivery and effective use of the project output
for capturing benefits should be assigned to a specific person (Burton-Jones and Grange, 2012; Badewi et al., 2013). Thus,
(Zwikael and Smyrk, 2012); the project manager should be allocating resources wisely between these projects and the
responsible for implementing the project as planned, but s/he is supporting processes and a high level of cooperation between
not necessarily accountable for obtaining the expected benefits them are vital for this success (Jonas et al., 2013).
from it. Thus, from the governance perspective, assigning a role In order to achieve and manage effective cooperation between
of accountability for realising benefits from intended projects is elements, the interdependence between them should be structured
perceived as critical for capturing these benefits (OGC, 2011; and defined (Forrester, 1994; Golden and Martin, 2004). Likewise,
Zwikael and Smyrk, 2015). the interdependence between roles, responsibilities and account-
To sum up, it is hypothesised that adopting benefits abilities should be clarified before starting the projects (Ahola et
management practices contributes positively to project investment al., 2014; Too and Weaver, 2014) so that the cognitive conflicts
success. over the responsibilities and areas of accountability between these
roles can be reduced (Forbes and Milliken, 1999) and therefore
H1. Benefits management practices positively affect the success project success is improved through the cohesiveness in the
of project investment. governance of the structure.
Since the capabilities of the project owner are a determinant
2.3. Project benefits governance framework factor in recouping the expected benefits from projects (Winch,
Leiringer), the one who owns the project, sometimes called the
One of the main determinants of project success is effective funder, or Senior Responsible Owner (OGC, 2011) should from
project governance structure (Lechler and Dvir, 2010; Joslin and both perspectives management and investment success be
Mller, 2015). The definition of project governance is not responsible and accountable for its investment viability (Zwikael
generally agreed in the literature (Bekker, 2014). The reason for and Smyrk, 2011; Zwikael and Smyrk, 2012). Additionally, on
this may be that three concepts now used interchangeably are in the basis of agent-principal theory (Eisenhardt, 1989), separation
fact different. Project governance, the governance of projects and between ownership and control is recommended for enhancing
governmentality are three interwoven concepts for understanding performance (Bozec et al., 2010). Therefore, the principal (the
and realising the value of project management (Mller et al., 2014). funder) should control its agents' performance (i.e. the perfor-
While project governance deals with the internal control of mance of the project manager and benefits owner). Consequently,
individual projects, such as the level of flexibility in applying PM there could be a conflict of interest between the principal and the
tools, techniques and roles (Mller, 2009), the governance of agents, the agents, or both.
projects is a way of selecting, coordinating and controlling projects Therefore, the use of contracts to define the desired behaviours
such as programme/portfolio management (Williams et al., 2010). and outcomes is critical for realising the expected outcomes
This governance of projects varies according to the country, project (Eisenhardt, 1989). In the same way, contracts to identify the
size and project type (Mller and Lecoeuvre, 2014). Meanwhile, scope of the funder's work and that of the project manager and
governmentality means managing the perceptions, attitudes, values benefits owner should be clarified. In addition, the funder's
and culture to govern/control and direct projects in order to deliver contract (i.e. the business case), to detail the project cost, benefits
project value (Foucault et al., 1991; Mller et al., 2014). and scenarios for realising benefits from the investments, is
Governance is the determination of roles, responsibilities and intended to define the funding and organisational change
accountabilities among stakeholders in order to achieve an ethical, requirements, and the benefits profile (which defines the project
cohesive and transparent decision making process for the sake of benefits and how they will be measured) (OGC, 2011) and the
achieving the mission of the organisation. Ahola et al. (2014) project charter (Project Management Institute, 2013a,b) form the
reflect this definition by dividing project governance research into benefit owner's and project manager's contract. As seen in Fig. 1,

Please cite this article as: A. Badewi, 2015. The impact of project management (PM) and benets management (BM) practices on project success: Towards developing
a project benets governance framework, Int. J. Proj. Manag.
A. Badewi / International Journal of Project Management xx (2015) xxxxxx 5

Fig. 1. Circles of accountability between project manager and benefits manager.

the progression on identified project benefits detailed in Benefits over changes in the environment, it follows that organisational
Profiles is used as a benchmark for reviewing the performance of governance is the key to obtaining the organisation's objectives
the benefits owner. Finally, the purpose of the project charter is by keeping a balance between the different tasks of delivering this
to tell and later to function in the performance metrics against, the output, delivering the expected benefits and attaining the
project manager the budget and time requirements for delivering organisational goals (Too and Weaver, 2014). In other words,
change of the required scope. unlike the process and product success (successful project
In light of this, the present research aims to investigate, management in delivering on time and within budget with
through the literature, the governance relationship between the stakeholder satisfaction), the organisational success (project
project manager and the benefit owner with a view to developing benefits) is more relevant after handling the project outputs
a framework for integrating both practices (BM and PM) in order phase (McLeod et al., 2012).
to enhance the probability of project success. Therefore, two or more different management themes (e.g.
programme management, benefits management, portfolio man-
2.4. The relationship between PM and BM under a project agement and project management) should be given prominence, to
benefits governance framework enable an organisation to impose its vision through the changes
with and because of these projects (Maylor et al., 2006; Bartlett,
The relationship between delivering outputs (the project) and 2002; Zwikael and Smyrk, 2011; Blomquist and Mller, 2006).
delivering the outcomes (the benefits from the project) has been This does not mean that project management practices should
examined in many handbooks of professional guidance, such as disregard the practices of change management (Artto and
Managing Successful Programmes (OGC) (OGC, 2011), Program Wikstrm, 2005); rather, project management has a limited role,
Management (PMI) (Project Management Institute, 2013a,b) and but an impetus impact, in managing change (Gareis, 2010)
the Managing Benefits APMG certificate (Jenner and APMG, through the continuous management of stakeholders (Cserhti and
2014). Academics also have addressed this relationship in a Szab, 2014). Nevertheless, the scope of organisational benefits is
number of books and publications (Gareis, 2005). broader than the current project management scope. This is why
Starting with the premise that the nature of a project is to the programmification of the concept of project management is
deliver a certain well-defined output which may entail conflicts necessary for organisations to realise the expected benefits from

Please cite this article as: A. Badewi, 2015. The impact of project management (PM) and benets management (BM) practices on project success: Towards developing
a project benets governance framework, Int. J. Proj. Manag.
6 A. Badewi / International Journal of Project Management xx (2015) xxxxxx

projects (Maylor et al., 2006). Thus, one of the key determinants blueprint would be designed as a roadmap to show what the
of programme success is business success in terms of business organisation would look like in the future as it performed its
results (Shao et al., 2012). daily tasks after receiving the project output so as to realise the
In order to understand the relationship between project project benefits. Finally, the projects would be initiated on the
management and benefits management or between the process basis of the project dossier to deliver a coherent blueprint with
of project management and that of deriving benefits, a which an organisation can pursue benefits through the required
governance based framework is developed in the present paper changes (OGC, 2011).
to distinguish between the two processes (see Fig. 2, below). The For this reason, as illustrated in Fig. 2, a project charter has been
process of realising benefits has a broader scope and longer life drawn up on the basis of the blueprint requirements defined in the
cycle than a project has (Zwikael and Smyrk, 2011). The reason project dossier, which is the initial document for assigning
is that projects deliver outputs that enable certain benefits to be responsibility in the project (the delivery of an output and its
obtained (OGC, 2009). Therefore, the benefits should first be contents to a specific person) (OGC, 2009). From this point, the
identified before plans are made for obtaining them (Ward and project of delivering the required blueprint is launched. Projects are
Daniel, 2006). Afterwards, a business case can be developed in a initiated, planned, executed, controlled and monitored according to
formal document to consider these benefits, the costs of obtaining the project's lifecycle (Project Management Institute, 2013a,b).
them and the plans for doing so (Ward et al., 2008). The hand-off point (sometimes called the output closeout) should
Since the organisational capabilities which are inherited in the be left to the benefit owner (also called the project owner) (Zwikael
current state of the organisation (e.g. its processes, culture and and Smyrk, 2011), the one responsible for capturing the benefits
attitudes) deliver a certain performance, to transform the current from the project business case. The benefit owner is perceived to be
performance level, this current state has to be changed (Bradley, critical for buy-in behaviour and in this capacity has been found to
2010; Serra and Kunc, 2015). The new state required to deliver affect project performance (Zwikael and Smyrk, 2015). Finally, a
the new benefits is crafted in the blueprint (OGC, 2011). benefits audit should be conducted regularly in order to guarantee
Projects entailing change management, such as IT projects, are that the benefits were obtained after implementation (Ashurst et al.,
even more challenging than other projects in terms of changing 2008). Once the benefits are delivered, or once they are
attitudes and managing the resistance to change (Cicmil, 1999) self-sustaining, the process of obtaining them is finished; this
and the perceptions and behaviour of employees. For instance, in juncture is also called the outcome closeout (Zwikael and Smyrk,
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, where an informa- 2011).
tion system involves a radical organisation change (Badewi et al.,
2013), traditional project management practice does not contrib- H2. When project management practices are combined with
ute to the success rate of ERP projects (Ram and Wu, 2014; Ram benefits management, the probability of success is increased.
et al., 2013). Rather, it is training and education that are critical
for delivering success. In such projects, benefits are derived from 3. Research methodology
the change, but without a significant change in the current
working practices, no significant benefits will be recouped (Ward In order to understand project-as-practice, interpretive
et al., 1996; Serra and Kunc, 2015). research is suggested, in the form either of learning about the
Each project should be managed and coordinated to deliver a experience of project and benefit managers through interviews,
blueprint that could be coordinated using a single management observations, or focus groups (Cicmil, 2006); or through the
framework, such as programme management (Reiss, 2006; in-depth, in particular ethnographic, analysis of cases, to
Ribbers and Schoo, 2002). The project dossier based on this understand what is going on and differences in practices

Fig. 2. Relationship between PM and BM under project benefits framework.

Please cite this article as: A. Badewi, 2015. The impact of project management (PM) and benets management (BM) practices on project success: Towards developing
a project benets governance framework, Int. J. Proj. Manag.
A. Badewi / International Journal of Project Management xx (2015) xxxxxx 7

(Blomquist et al., 2010). However, in this research the benefits of practices, project management success and organisation related
being able to generalise results outweigh the expense of information aimed to test the relationships between four
understanding in depth what is going on (Singleton and Straits, concepts. In order to avoid the problem of same source bias, in
2005). Generalisation does not mean showing universal applica- particular for evaluating the success of the projects, the first
bility; rather it means that the evidence may be drawn from questions in the questionnaire asked about the project's successes.
different geographic areas and across different areas. Moreover, each concept was presented in a separate section to
The aim of this research, in addition, is not to discover these mitigate the subjectivity of the respondents (Kraimer and Wayne,
practices, but rather to test whether they are valid across different 2004; Rogg et al., 2001) towards the effect of their organisationally
organisations, as discussed in the BM and PM literature, which was enforced practices on the project's success.
developed using case studies (Doherty et al., 2011; Ashurst et al., In order to examine the reliability of the measures, Cronbach's
2008), based on the books' authors' experience of long periods alpha was used as a measure of reliability. As long as the
spent managing projects and benefits (such as Thorp, 1998 and Cronbach's alpha of a construct is more than 0.6, it is considered
Bradley, 2010) or derived from the widely accepted project reliable (Nunnally et al., 1967). Concerning the validity of the
management body of knowledge, which is based on long questions, Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) was deployed, using
experience of multiple cases either in government (OGC, 2011; Principal Component Analysis with Varimax rotation to test the
OGC, 2009) or in different organisations (Project Management divergent validity of the constructs, as illustrated in Table 2. The
Institute, 2013a,b). The use of these professional (non-academic) summary of the descriptive statistics of the questionnaire is
documents to develop the questionnaire questions is expected to presented in Table 9.
bridge the gap between practice and academic theory (albeit proved
empirically). Indeed, achieving this level of generalisation would 3.1.1. Project success
be impossible through qualitative and in-depth analysis case by The definition of project success has changed over time; at first
case (Saunders et al., 2011; Bryman, 2012). in the 1970s it focused only on the application of project
Consequently, an online survey was used to test the research management tools but nowadays it is concerned with satisfying
hypotheses. An online questionnaire was distributed to a range of stakeholders' needs (Davis, 2014). The attention of project
social media groups in LinkedIn and Facebook. Project and managers is usually focused on delivering projects on time and
programme managers involved in information technology projects within budget. However, project sponsors (funders) demand a
were then identified and targeted on LinkedIn. 300 responses were return on investment from every project, wishing to realise strategic
received and when the uncompleted ones had been deleted, the 200 benefits from it. Therefore, project success is measured from a
remaining responses were found to be valid and used in the different perspective, which may be that of project efficiency, team
analysis. and customer influence, business success or preparing for the
The units of analysis in this research were organisations with future (Mir and Pinnington, 2014). Similarly, Zwikael and Smyrk
their own practices, not projects. Although projects as units of (2012) offer a taxonomy of project success and hence divide
analysis could sometimes give more accurate and in-depth results project success into project management success and project
(Zwikael et al., 2014), this research took the organisation as its unit investment success.
of analysis because the practices used in its projects tend to be On the one hand, project management success focuses on the
drawn from the relationship between the organisation and its efficiency of a project in terms of delivering something of the right
projects (Turner, 2009). Governance themes for both project and scope on time and within budget. Indeed, the use of triple
benefits management practices are enforced by the organisation's constraints (cost, time and scope) as a criterion of project
policies and standard operating procedures (SOPs), such as performance is the traditional way of defining project success
selecting the owner of the benefits and the project manager before (Atkinson, 1999). Therefore, respondents were asked to indicate
initiating the projects (Mller et al., 2014). Likewise, the use of how far they agreed that their organisations' IT projects were
basic project management and benefits management practices, delivered on time and within cost. These questions are derived
reflecting the organisational belief in these practices (Artto and from the literature and include questions used to measure project
Wikstrm, 2005), is implemented as part of the organisational efficiency (Dvir and Lechler, 2004; Zwikael et al., 2014). The
policy for dealing with projects. Engaging in any of these practices Cronbach's alpha for measuring the reliability of this construct was
without the organisation's clear specification of their content 0.815. In addition, on the basis of Factor Analysis for measuring
through the project management office, programme management the validity of the constructs in Table 2, the factor loads of items of
office, or an independent consulting organisation would undermine scale were more than 0.6, which means that this construct was
the value of the practices in terms of the frequency of their use and valid.
their value as consistent communication mechanisms between the On the other hand, project investment success is the concern
projects and their organisations. (Sample characteristics are of the project sponsor, who wants to know whether a project is
tabulated in Table 1.) worth investing in (Zwikael and Smyrk, 2012). To set the
financial expectations for identifying and selecting projects,
3.1. Questionnaire design different capital budgeting techniques can be used, such as net
present value (NPV), internal rate of return (IRR) and return on
The five sections of the questionnaire project management investment (ROI) (Bierman and Smidt, 2012). Although ROI
success, project investment success, benefits management has drawbacks such as its inability to consider the time value of

Please cite this article as: A. Badewi, 2015. The impact of project management (PM) and benets management (BM) practices on project success: Towards developing
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Table 1
Sample characteristics.
Characteristics of the sample (n = 200)
Country N % Length of time in this position N %
Egypt 49 25% 03 years 71 36%
Saudi Arabia 19 10% 48 years 60 30%
Other Arabic Countries 3 2% 915 years 35 18%
Total Arab World 71 36% More than 15 years 34 17%
UK 32 16% Total 200
Ireland 3 2% Positions
Italy 4 2% Project managers 64 32%
Others 13 7% Programme managers 32 16%
Total Europe 56 28% CIO/IT managers/IT directors 33 17%
US 51 26% IT technical (e.g. programmers, DB) 12 6%
Others 26 13% Consultants 22 11%
Total 200 Users 18 9%
Non-IT decision-makers (e.g. accounting and finance) 13 7%
Missing (refused to say) 38 19%
Total 200

money or project risks, it is the easiest and most common (Davis, 2014) are difficult. Likewise, it is hard to measure
formula to employ in practice (Gitman and Zutter, 2012) and is return on investment and compare it across different projects
calculated by dividing the monetary value of the non-monetary and organisations, since the nature of their deliverables and
and monetary benefits by the project's investments (Irani, their work is different and what is expected or accepted in one
1998). context may not be so in another (Thomas and Mullaly, 2008).
Since the sponsor's financial satisfaction (in terms of the Thus, respondents were asked to indicate how far their
project's return on investments in) cannot be realised without organisation was satisfied with the return on its investments
project deliverables that can secure the planned benefits (OGC, in IT projects and how far they believed that the expected
2011), project investment success focuses on the benefits which benefits had been obtained. The reliability of this construct was
accrue from projects (Camilleri, 2011) and on return on 0.792 and the factor loads of the items under this construct were
investment. Therefore, as the literature suggests, project invest- above 0.6. These figures indicate that these measures were
ment success is operationalised in terms of return on investments reliable and valid for the analysis.
and the successful realisation of the desired benefits (Serra and
Kunc, 2015; Besner and Hobbs, 2006). 3.1.2. Project management practices
Measuring and comparing the benefits between projects In order to measure the level at which project management
from different perspectives and Key Performance Indicators practices were implemented, PMBOK and PRINCE2 practices
were used for benchmarking. The level of implementation is
measured by the level of agreement that the respondents'
Table 2 organisations engage in the following practices in their projects:
Validity and reliability tests. having a project charter before starting to implement a new IT
Rotated component matrix a project; reviewing cost plans periodically; reviewing time plans
Component periodically; and implementing communication plans. These four
practices are used to emphasize different aspects of the level of
1 2 3 4
implementing project management: project governance;
Cronbach's alpha (reliability measure) .804 .681 .792 .815 reviewing and using the basic plans of time and cost; and using
Proj MGM succ time .833 communication plans.
Proj MGM succ cost .785 Without clearly identifying the project manager, it is difficult
Proj inv succ benefits realisation .822
to manage projects effectively, because the mechanism for
Proj inv succ ROI satisfaction .881
BRM1 business case .656 assigning the responsibility of managing organisational resources
BRM2 periodical benefits audit .869 is imperfect. Therefore, the first question, on the use of a project
BRM3 assigning responsibility .672 charter before starting a project, is used as a governance
for realising benefits requirement to delegate the responsibility for implementing the
PM1 project charter .742
project to a project manager (Project Management Institute,
PM2 reviewing cost plan .729
PM3 reviewing time plan .785 2013a,b).
PM4 implementing communication plan .720 Project planning is perceived to have an impact on project
Extraction method: Principal Component Analysis. efficiency, in terms of delivering the output on time within cost;
Rotation method: Varimax with Kaiser normalization. and on effectiveness, in terms of project performance and
Rotation converged in 6 iterations. customer satisfaction (Zwikael and Globerson, 2006; Zwikael

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et al., 2014). However, planning which takes no account of independent (PM and BM practices) and dependent concepts
changes in the environment and goals is probably useless (Dvir (project investment and management successes). However,
and Lechler, 2004). Therefore, in this research, planning goes correlational analysis suggested a significant relationship
hand in hand with controlling the index at the level of PM among the independent variables (i.e. PM and BM were closely
implementation. The next two questions were about reviewing correlated) from one side and significant correlation between
the cost and time plans. Unlike the studies that use specific the dependent variables (since the two kinds of successes were
practices to indicate planning (Papke-Shields et al., 2010; found to be closely correlated) from the other. Therefore, SEM
Zwikael et al., 2014) as indicators for measuring the concept of was used to analyse the data because it takes into account these
planning, this research asked about reviewing plans periodi- correlations between different concepts.
cally. The reason is that changes in plans are more important
to project success than the quality of planning itself (Dvir and 4.1. Simple regression analysis
Lechler, 2004). Finally, stakeholders' engagement is negatively
affected unless effective and continuous communication with A simple linear regression model was used to reveal the
them is maintained throughout the identifying, planning, impact of BM and PM on project investment success; the
executing and controlling of the project (Beringer et al., 2013; results are illustrated in Table 3. BM alone, without taking
Heravi et al., 2015). A project may fail if poor communication account of PM practices, was found to have a significant impact
leads to the stakeholders' feeling uninvolved. Thus, a question on project investment success, with an adjusted R2 of 14.1%
was asked about implementing a communication plan because and a standardized beta 0.381. Likewise, PM alone was found
it is one of the basic requirements for successful project to affect project investment success, with an adjusted R2 of
management. 14.9% and a standardized beta of 0.392.
Only these four practices were selected, as the main practices
in implementing project management; if any of them had been 4.2. Stepwise analysis
absent, it would have been hard to say that project management
methodology had been applied in the organisation at all. Stepwise regression makes possible the choice of predictive
However, implementing other practices is subject to many other variables in automatic procedures. It measures the fitness of each
factors which are not necessarily found in all projects. For model using one variable and compares models with one another.
instance, projects with less dependence on risk plans can Insignificant models are eliminated (Hocking, 1976; Draper and
sometimes be seen; they vary in the level of project uncertainty Smith, 1981). Therefore, it is used to find which concepts (PM or
(Besner and Hobbs, 2012a,b). Likewise, other practices such as BM practices or both) have a significant impact on project
procurement, HR, and so on, vary with the nature of the projects investment success and which practices in benefits management
being managed with, for example, the same degree of complexity have the major impact on project investment success.
and of innovation (Besner and Hobbs, 2012a,b; Besner and
Hobbs, 2008). As seen in Table 2, the reliability of this construct, 4.2.1. Are PM practices alone, BM practices alone, or both
using Cronbach's alpha, is 0.8 and the factor load of all items was required for project investment success?
above 0.6. This indicates that the construct was valid and reliable It should be noted that each of the simple regression analysis
for use. results alone is misleading, because BM and PM are significantly
correlated by 43.1% with a 99% confidence interval, as illustrated
3.1.3. Benefits management practices in Table 4. Therefore, this significant impact could be due to a
Likewise, questions on practices in benefits management problem with the third variable, a problem which arises when X
were adopted from Ward and Daniel (2006) and OGC, (2011). affects Y but when the impact is due to the correlation of X & Z
Questions were asked about the organisational frequency of and Z & Y. In this research, Z is the PM practice because PM is
identifying the benefits of the IT investments before closely correlated with both BM and project investment success.
implementing the project, starting with the development of a Therefore, stepwise analysis was used to find which practices
business case (Chih and Zwikael, 2015), periodical reviews of affect the success of the project investment. To this end, two
benefits and assigning a benefits owner to be responsible and models were selected as significant and the third, which was less
accountable for obtaining the benefits from each IT project. As significant, was ignored. The first model, PM alone, has an
illustrated in Table 2, the reliability of this construct was 0.68 adjusted R2 of 14.9% and a standardized beta of 0.392. However,
and the factor loads of the items under this construct were in the second model, which combined BM and PM, the impact of
above 0.6. These figures indicate that these measures were the PM practices had declined to .276 and the adjusted R2 of the
reliable and valid for the analysis. model had increased to 19.8%. This means that the entrance of
BM in the regression equation had increased the adjusted R2 of
4. Data analysis and results the model by 5.2% (P b 0.001). Therefore, finding the
incremental explanation ratio of project management success by
The analysis for this research was conducted through three entering benefits management success was important; it increased
phases: regression analysis, stepwise analysis and Structural the adjusted R2 of the model by 35%.
Equation Modelling (SEM), as illustrated in Fig. 3. The aim of Unfortunately, these results are probably misleading, since
the first phase was to test the relationships between the about 43.1% (P b 0.001) of the organisations that implement

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a project benets governance framework, Int. J. Proj. Manag.
10 A. Badewi / International Journal of Project Management xx (2015) xxxxxx

Fig. 3. Analysis process.

benefits management engage in project management practices. 4.2.2. Which PM and BM practices are more important for
This measurement error may be made by researchers who try to realising project investment success?
examine the impact of benefits management on project Correlation analysis suggests that the highest correlation of
investment success without controlling for the level of project project management practice with project management success
management practices across the organisations. Likewise, project is in implementing the communication plan and periodical
investment success and project management success are reviewing of the time plan, found in the present research to be
significantly correlated by 52.4% (P b 0.001), which may bring by 44.8% and 46.2% respectively. Nevertheless, the highest
misleading results. Therefore, Structure Equation Modelling was correlation with project investment success, by 42%, was the
used to overcome the problems of multicollinearity (Howell, time plan. However, other practices were correlated with it by
2007) (in which inflated results occur due to the correlation between 24% and 29%, approximately. This is an indication
between dependent variables) and of the correlation between that the periodical reviewing of the time plan is one of the
dependent variables (Hu and Bentler, 1999). critical factors for project success.

Fig. 4. SEM results.

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A. Badewi / International Journal of Project Management xx (2015) xxxxxx 11

PM prac
Table 3
The impacts of BM and PM on project investment success using traditional

regression methods.

Independent variables Adjusted Standardized Method
R2 beta


BM .141 0.381 Regression

PM .149 0.392
BM & PM combined .198 BM = .257 Stepwise

PM = .276 analysis

Incremental adjusted-R2 .052

between the PM model
and the PM & BM model


All values are significant at 99%.


BM prac


Correlation analysis in Table 4 revealed that the business
case was the least important factor in benefits management, by

a correlation of 25.8%. Indeed, after conducting regression


analysis to find its exclusive impact on project investment
success, the explained ratio (r-squared) was only 6.2%.

Moreover, when it was considered in stepwise analysis, taking


into consideration other practices in benefits management, this

model was excluded because the t-value was 1.337.

Still, assigning to a specific person or department the



responsibility and accountability for capturing benefits was found

to have a significant correlation, of 37.6% (P b 0.001) (see

Table 4: correlational analysis). Moreover, as illustrated in Table 5,
the adjusted R2 was 13.7% (P b 0.001) for the regression analysis
Pro inv succ





model. Nevertheless, combining this practice with a periodical
benefits audit increased the adjusted R2 coefficient to 15.4%.




4.3. Structural Equation Modelling analysis

Because of the significance of the correlation between all the


concepts of the research (i.e. PM and BM are closely correlated




and so are project investment and management successes),

SEM was recommended to overcome these problems. Howev-

Pro MGM succ

er, before analysing with SEM, the fitness of the data to the
SEM had first to be tested to identify whether SEM could give






reliable and valid results.


4.3.1. SEM fitness model

Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).
Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed).







In order to ensure that the results of the model were reliable

and valid, Goodness-of-fit criteria had to be deployed. As

illustrated in Table 6, There were several perspectives from









which to assess the fit of the model (Hair et al., 1998). First,
overall fit (absolute fit) measures were used to assess the degree

to which the overall model and the structural and measurement

14.PM4 communication plan

models fitted the sample data. Chi-square per degree of freedom

(x2/df) Goodness-of-fit index (GFI) and Root Mean Square Effort
5. Proj inv succ benefits
1. Proj MGM succ time
2. Proj MGM succ cost

11.PM1 project charter

of Approximation (RMSEA) were used to measure the absolute

4. Proj inv succ ROI
Correlational analysis.

13.PM3 time plan

12.PM2 cost plan

overall fit of the model in the present research. The Chi-square

per degree of freedom (x2/df) was 1.32, which was lower than the


cut-off points of 2.0 (Byrne, 1989) and 5.0 (Marsh and Hocevar,

1985), as accepted in the literature. The GFI was 0.961, which

7. BRM1
8. BRM2
9. BRM3

Table 4

was higher than the 0.9 that indicates the good fit of the sample
data (Hair et al., 1998). In addition, RMSEA was .04 with a

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Table 5
Stepwise analysis after entering three BM practices on PM investment success.
Coefficients a
Model b Unstandardized Standardized coefficients T Sig. Adjusted R2
B Std. error Beta
1 (Constant) 2.464 .203 12.141 .000 .137
BRM3 assigning responsibility for obtaining benefits .308 .057 .376 5.385 .000
2 (Constant) 2.336 .210 11.125 .000 .154
BRM3 assigning responsibility for obtaining benefits .243 .065 .296 3.759 .000
BRM2 periodical benefits audit .132 .062 .167 2.125 .035
Dependent variable: PM_Inv_Succ.
Business case practice was excluded from analysis, due to the insignificance of its model.

confidence of 90% between 0.00 and 0.068. This was a good 4.3.2. SEM results
indicator, since it is accepted in the literature that below 0.1 is The model suggests that PM practices have a significant impact
acceptable, from .08 to 0.05 is to be recommended and less than on project management success (the standardized estimate was
0.05 is the best (Browne et al., 1993). 0.632, with a critical ratio of 6.592) but a lower impact on project
Second, incremental fit measures were used to compare the investment success (standardized estimate 0.403 with a critical
proposed model with the baseline model. The Adjusted Group ratio of 3.926) (See Fig. 4). However, both estimates were
Fitness Index (AGFI), the TuckerLewis Index (TLI), Normed significant at more than 99%. However, benefits management
Fit Index (NFI) and Comparative Fit Index (CFI) were the practices alone affect project investment success by only 0.21 with
indicators used for measuring the incremental impact of the a critical ratio of 2.19, to be significant only at a 95% confidence
model which assume zero population covariance between the interval. This evidence suggests that PM practices have a higher
observed values (the baseline model). Indeed, all measures and more significant impact than BM practices on project
indicated that this model was significant in relation to the investment success.
baseline model, because the AGFI, TLI, NFI and CFI were Supporting the previous literature review (Serra and Kunc,
more than 0.9 (Hu and Bentler, 1999). 2015), there was moderately significant evidence that benefits
Third, parsimony measures (model parsimony) were used to management practices affect a project's success (estimate = 21%
assess whether the model fit had been achieved by over-fitting and CR = 2.14, sig at 95%). Nevertheless, the impact of benefits
the data with too many coefficients. Indicators were adjusted management on project investment success is roughly half that of
from previous indicators, such as NFI, GFI and CFI, to consider project management practices. According to the SEM output of the
the parsimony of the model. All the adjusted indicators, PGFI, standardized total effect, BM practices affected it by 0.206
PCFI, and PNFI were higher than 0.5, which indicated a (standardized = 0.206; p b 0.05 %)while PM practices affected
parsimonious fit (James et al., 1982; Hu and Bentler, 1999). it by .403 (standardized = 0.403; p b 0.01 %). In addition, the

Table 6
Model fitness measures, values and cut-off points.
Measures Criteria Measure Value Cut-off-point
Absolute fit The general fitness model relative to degree of Model Chi-square/df 1.32 Less than 5.0 is accepted
Overall degree of fitness: the good fit of the Goodness-of-fit index (GFI) 0.961 More than 0.9 indicated
sample data
Measures the error of approximation (population SteigerLind root means the square .04 Less than 0.1 is accepted
based index) of approximation (RMSEA) HI90 = 0.064
LO90 = 0.0
Measures the mean absolute value of the Standardized root means a square 0.053 Less than 0.1 is accepted
covariance residuals residual (SRMR)
Incremental fit Adjusts the GFI AGFI 0.928 Greater than 0.9 indicates
Incremental fit indices over the null model TuckerLewis Index (TLI) 0.978 a good fit
assuming zero population covariance among Normed Fit Index (NFI) 0.945
observed values Bentler Comparative fit Index (CFI) 0.986
Parsimony Diagnosing whether model fit has been achieved PGFI 0.524 Range from 0 to 1.0.
by over-fitting the data with too many coefficients PNFI 0.618 Higher is better
PGI 0.645

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standardized total effects (standardized ) of BM on the satisfac- Table 8

tion of IT investments of return on investment and benefits Standardized total effects.
obtained were .158 and .176 respectively, whereas they were .309 BM_Practices PM_Practice Inv_Success MGM_Success
and .344 respectively for PM, as shown in Table 8. Inv_Success .206 .403 .000 .000
MGM_Success .000 .632 .000 .000
5. Discussion ProjSI2 .158 .309 .767 .000
ProjSI1 .176 .344 .854 .000
ProjSM2 .000 .537 .000 .850
Because the performance of project management affects project ProjSM1 .000 .511 .000 .808
success (Mir and Pinnington, 2014), the application of project BRM1 .774 .000 .000 .000
management practices was found to have a significant impact on BRM2 .610 .000 .000 .000
both project management success (ES = 0.722, CR = 6.592) and BRM3 .773 .000 .000 .000
PM1 .000 .628 .000 .000
project investment success (ES = .459, CR = 3.926). This could
PM2 .000 .718 .000 .000
be interpreted as the more the organisation uses PM practices, the PM3 .000 .819 .000 .000
more mature it becomes in PM capabilities and therefore the more PM4 .000 .690 .000 .000
capable of delivering value from its projects (Thomas and
Mullaly, 2008). The findings of the present research support Bradley, 2010) and the body of knowledge of the Benefits
those of other researchers in finding evidence for the view that Management professional certificate (Jenner and APMG, 2014) as
project management practices affect project success (Berssaneti critical to recouping the benefits from a project or programme.
and Carvalho, 2015). However, this research looked at project However, the present research, supported by the statements of
management practices through different lenses, i.e., the governance other researchers (Badewi, 2014; Serra and Kunc, 2015), yielded
of the project, periodical reviewing of plans and a communication no clear generalisable evidence regarding this. But the evidence
plan. from the regression model suggests that benefits management has a
Although it appears that implementing a project on time and significant impact on it. At the same time, project management
within cost (i.e. project efficiency) does not necessarily mean practices have a higher significance and higher impact on project
delivering the expected benefits and stakeholders' satisfaction from success. Therefore, the impact of benefits management practices on
them (Ram et al., 2013), this research indicates that such an project success could derive from the relationship between project
argument may be fallacious, for a strong significant correlation was management practices and those of benefits management (i.e. the
found between delivering on time and within budget and delivering organisations that implement benefits management usually imple-
the desired benefits. This finding supports the findings of Serrador ment project management practices).
and Turner (2015) that project efficiency has a significant role in As a result, it was hypothesised that project management and
project success. This could have several implications. First, benefits management are correlated. After correlational analysis, a
organisations that succeed in implementing projects are already significant correlation between them was found. This reflects that a
mature enough in their management of change. Second, delivering significant proportion of organisations that implement BM are
on time may mean that the scope of the projects is clear and concurrently implementing PM. Thus, it is not known which is the
understandable to different stakeholders and therefore few changes main factor affecting project success and thus which is not.
in the carrying out the project process are required or made. Therefore, a stepwise analysis was conducted to clarify the
Benefits management practices are usually seen by academics intertwining relationship of PM and BM in this regard. It was
(Peppard et al., 2007; Ward and Daniel, 2006; Ashurst et al., 2008; found that while PM alone is significant and BM alone is not
Ashurst and Doherty, 2003), non-academic authors (Thorp, 1998; significant, PM and BM in a single model produce a higher

Table 7
SEM results, estimates, standard error, critical ratio, P-value and standard estimate.
Estimate S.E. C.R. P Standardized estimate
MGM_Success PM_Practice .722 .110 6.592 *** .632
Inv_Success PM_Practice .459 .117 3.926 *** .403
Inv_Success BM_Practices .207 .095 2.183 .029 .206
PM4 PM_Practice 1.000 .690
PM3 PM_Practice 1.012 .107 9.430 *** .819
PM2 PM_Practice .982 .114 8.646 *** .718
PM1 PM_Practice .911 .118 7.718 *** .628
BRM3 BM_Practices 1.000 .773
BRM2 BM_Practices .816 .144 5.653 *** .610
BRM1 BM_Practices .966 .147 6.568 *** .774
ProjSM1 MGM_Success 1.000 .808
ProjSM2 MGM_Success 1.020 .100 10.205 *** .850
ProjSI1 Inv_Success 1.000 .854
ProjSI2 Inv_Success .833 .098 8.492 *** .767
*** Significant at 99%.

Please cite this article as: A. Badewi, 2015. The impact of project management (PM) and benets management (BM) practices on project success: Towards developing
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14 A. Badewi / International Journal of Project Management xx (2015) xxxxxx

Table 9
Descriptive statistics of the questionnaire.
Items/constructs Mean Std. error Mode Std. Skewness Std. error of
of mean deviation skewness
IT projects are delivered on time 3.06 .085 4 1.200 .018 .172
IT projects are delivered on budget 3.18 .082 4 1.164 .125 .172
Project management success construct 3.1175 .07676 3.00 1.08551 .020 .172
Delivers the business benefits expected from it 3.46 .080 4 1.133 .295 .172
Is perceived as satisfactory by your organisation in terms of return on investment 3.54 .074 4 1.051 .697 .172
Project investment success construct 3.4975 .07031 4.00 .99433 .613 .172
BRM1 developing a business case before starting to implement a new IT project. 3.63 .085 5 1.196 .516 .172
BRM2 developing a periodic benefit audit report after IT project implementation 2.58 .091 2 1.282 .432 .172
BRM3 assigns responsibility and accountability for obtaining benefits from IT 3.28 .088 4 1.240 .345 .172
projects/(before, during, or after IT projects)
Benefits management practices 3.1600 .06848 3.33 .96849 .102 .172
PM1 Have a project charter before implementing the projects 3.75 .087 4 1.228 .587 .172
PM2 Reviews cost plans periodically 3.70 .082 4 1.156 .575 .172
PM3 Time plans are reviewed periodically 3.91 .074 4 1.045 .957 .172
PM4 Communication plans are implemented 3.43 .087 4 1.226 .247 .172
Project management practices constructs 3.6938 .06541 4.00 .92510 .537 .172

significant increase in the significance of the model than PM alone should not be left to no one in particular. Because Zwikael and
does. This result supports the hypothesis that combining PM and Smyrk (2015) apply the principalagent theory to the relationship
BM into a single governance based framework enhances the between project manager, benefit owner and the funder of the
probability of success. project, the principal (i.e. the funder, sometimes called the Senior
Because there was a significant correlation between project Responsible Owner (SRO) (Zwikael and Smyrk, 2015)) assigns
investment success and project management success, the impact of responsibility and accountability for delivering efficient output to
BM on project success is not clearly determined. Therefore, in the project manager (agent) and should assign the responsibility
order to overcome the correlation between the dependent variables and accountability for realising the expected benefits from this
and that between the independent variables, a structured equation output to the benefit owner (agent).
modelling was used. It was found that PM and BM each had a Unlike the post-project review, which aims to identify and
significant impact on project investment success. However, the PM document the lessons learned and to evaluate the performance of
practices had a higher impact and higher significance than those of the project manager in terms of delivering a project of the required
BM. Indeed, unlike the beliefs held by many authors (Ward and scope on time and within cost (Anbari et al., 2008), the benefit
Daniel, 2006; Thorp, 1998; Bradley, 2010; APM, 2009), this SEM review focuses on the realisation of benefits (Ward and Daniel,
result with step-wise analysis suggests that the BM framework 2006). In other words, while post-project evaluation aims to
alone is not sufficient for realising benefits nor for project success. evaluate the performance of the project manager (the creator of the
This result supports other authors who believe that PM should be project output) in delivering the output, the benefits review aims to
the cornerstone for BM (Bartlett, 2002; Melton et al., 2008a,b; evaluate the performance of the benefit owner (the user of this
Thomas and Mullaly, 2008). project output).
The low but significant impact of BM on project success may In addition, contradicting the belief that benefits identification
have several different implications. Since the results suggest that before implementation has a marked influence on project success
project management success and project investment success are (Thomas and Fernndez, 2008), this study has no strong evidence
significantly correlated, BM alone without practising proper PM is to support the view that business case development and use alone
an indicator that an organisation cannot deliver the project output are sufficient and critical for obtaining project investment success.
on schedule within budget. Additionally, this output may entail In fact, these results support the idea that the quantification of
bugs or quality problems which can frustrate the users and, for benefits is overvalued by practitioners and is not a neutral
instance, discourage them from using it, since the quality of IT process (Breese, 2012). This may, in other words, be caused by an
artefacts affects the users' behaviour (Petter et al., 2008). inability to properly quantify benefits (Ward et al., 2008). Another
Therefore, when BM is combined with PM, the project success is explanation lies in the time and effort devoted to developing the
enhanced significantly to reflect that when benefit owners are business case. The present study does not show the time devoted to
accountable for realising benefits and they are supported by reliable business case development, but it is admitted that this amount of
outputs, the probability of project investment success increases time is a factor perceived to affect project investment success
more significantly than merely having a good output or good (Tasevska et al., 2014).
BM practices.
Among the PM and BM practices perceived to have a high 6. Conclusion and suggestions for future research
impact on project investment success are assigning responsibility
for delivering the benefits and reviewing the benefits thereafter. The main findings of this research are that PM and BM
The responsibility for assigning benefits should be clarified and practices are required for ensuring project investment success. In

Please cite this article as: A. Badewi, 2015. The impact of project management (PM) and benets management (BM) practices on project success: Towards developing
a project benets governance framework, Int. J. Proj. Manag.
A. Badewi / International Journal of Project Management xx (2015) xxxxxx 15

other words, the organisations that combine PM and BM in a and thus keep the same benefits owner for the longest possible
single project benefits framework for managing projects are able period. To put it simply, for the current programme management
to achieve a significantly higher level of success than other practices, working to recoup the benefits ceases to be one of the
organisations which implement PM or BM only. However, PM benefits owner's job responsibilities and areas of accountability
practices have a higher and more significant impact on project after when the programme is formally closed. Since the benefits are
investment success than do BM practices. Regarding the latter, self-sustaining after three years (Esteves, 2009; Badewi et al.,
assigning the responsibility for obtaining benefits is the most 2013), does it work to tie up the salary of the benefits owner with
critical factor to project investment success, while the business the progression and stability of the benefits for these three years?
case is the least. Likewise, regarding PM practices, a communi- Furthermore, which is more effective, singular or collective
cation plan and time plan are critical to obtaining project accountability? Is it better to have a single owner or should the
management success, whereas reviewing the time plan is the benefit ownership be distributed among all the beneficiaries from
most critical factor for obtaining project investment success. the project output? In other words, should the compensation
The present research has some methodological limitations, system tie up the benefits with the income of the department head
but offers some research opportunities. From the perspective of alone, or with that of all members of the department?
methodological limitations, the practices considered were From project management-as-practice (Winter et al., 2006;
limited to basic ones; the unit of analysis was the organisation Cicmil and Hodgson, 2006; Cicmil, 2006), we learn that a
and not the project; and there may have been the same source longitudinal study is advised as a follow-up when this project
bias, in that the respondents were asked about the practices and benefits framework is applied, to see how the project benefits
the outcome of these practices (success measures). The three are realised and what the contextual and environmental factors are
limitations appeared because the aim of this research was to that affect the realisation process. Furthermore, case study research
find how far project success was affected by the main practices is required to determine the critical items in project benefits
of project management and benefits management applied as governance contracts (business case, benefits profile and project
part of the organisational policy or culture. It did not aim to charter) to realise the project benefits effectively and efficiently.
reveal the impact of all projects or all benefits management To sum up, many practitioners believe that BM practices are a
practices on project success management. However, another panacea for realising the benefits from project investments. After
study is recommended, to find the relative importance to project testing this hypothesis using empirical generalisable evidence,
success of each practice in project management and benefits BM practices were found to have less impact and less significant
management. Regarding same source bias error, from letting impact than PM practices in realising business success (invest-
the same respondent answer questions about both dependent ment success). However, combining PM with BM enhances the
and independent variables, it is feared that the same source bias project success significantly. In other words, without a reliable
may have distorted the results, although the constructs were project output delivered on time and within budget or invalid (not
valid and reliable. Therefore, it is recommended to replicate this addressing the benefits owner's requirements), the benefits
study but this time to take a case study approach and ask owner, if there is one, will struggle to recoup the expected
different stakeholders in a single project; or to distribute paired benefits. In order to deliver successful project outputs (valid and
questionnaires to different organisations, with one set of reliable), plans should be continuously reviewed, stakeholders'
questions for the supervisor (programme manager or project expectations and requirements should be managed closely and a
sponsor) and one for the project management. project charter should detail the contribution of this project as an
Moreover, in order to analyse the project success function in enabler for (or being part of) a change in organisational work
more depth, it is suggested that the interaction between project practices. Finally, without reviewing the progress in benefits
management and benefits management should be examined by realisation, it will be difficult to associate the benefit realisation
moderating the relationship between PM and project invest- with the benefit owners' compensation system. Therefore, the
ment success. Furthermore, the ability of an organisation to motivation to work actively on realising benefits from the project
realise the project benefits from the current project management investments will be diminished.
framework is still questionable. Although the research found
that PM can affect the success of a project, it is not clear Conict of interest
whether it has the same impact on project benefits.
A project benefits governance framework opens the door to There is no conflict of interest.
much research in this area. For instance, what is the difference
between a project benefits governance framework and a pro- Acknowledgements
gramme framework? The idea of a programme framework is
challenged by some because, once the programme is finished, the This research is funded by the Egyptian Government (Tanta
benefits owner may not be interested in continuing to work to University) and Cranfield University.
realise the benefits from it (Badewi, 2015). As Ward and his
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